E.g., 04/12/2024
E.g., 04/12/2024
U.S. Immigration Policy Program

U.S. Immigration Policy Program

Image of female worker at the Boqueria market in Barcelona making a crepe
Marcel Crozet/ILO

Spain and the United States both receive their greatest number of immigrants from Latin America, and have worked collaboratively together on displacement crises and other migration issues. As shared immigration challenges dominate debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Spain can serve as a vital bridge in the policy conversation, this commentary notes.

A man in a high-visibility jacket and gloves at work
Aaron Sussell/U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. employment-based visa policies, last updated in 1990, are not aligned with the country’s current and future labor market needs. This policy brief outlines MPI’s proposal for a new visa pathway that could help the United States better leverage immigration to meet its labor market needs, boost protections for both U.S.- and foreign-born workers, and flexibly adapt to future economic and demographic changes.

Inadmissible migrants, some seeking asylum, are processed by CBP officers
Mani Albrecht/CBP

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

 A young nurse hugs an elderly patient in a wheelchair
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits in the United States is governed by a complex patchwork of rules that make many groups of noncitizens eligible for some benefits but not others, while other noncitizens are excluded completely. This report provides an overview of immigrants’ eligibility for programs related to general assistance, health and nutrition, employment and income, education, housing, driver’s licenses, and more.

U.S.-Mexico border fence with Tijuana on the left
Josh Denmark/CBP

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

CBP officers screen border crossers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry
Jerry Glaser/CBP

All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.

Recent Activity

Cover image for Outmatched: The U.S. Asylum System Faces Record Demands
Reports
February 2024
By  Kathleen Bush-Joseph
Cover image for Immigrants’ Eligibility for U.S. Public Benefits: A Primer
Reports
January 2024
By  Valerie Lacarte, Julia Gelatt and Ashley Podplesky
Cover image for Migration at the U.S.-Mexico Border
Reports
January 2024
By  Alan D. Bersin, Nate Bruggeman and Ben Rohrbaugh
President Joe Biden signs an executive order.
Articles
A celebration for the Feast of San Gennaro in New York's Little Italy
Articles
Shifting Realities at the U.S.-Mexico Border report
Reports
January 2024
By  Ariel G. Ruiz Soto, Colleen Putzel-Kavanaugh and Doris Meissner

Pages

Cover image for At the Breaking Point report
Reports
July 2023
By  Muzaffar Chishti, Doris Meissner, Stephen Yale-Loehr, Kathleen Bush-Joseph and Christopher Levesque
Cover image for the brief Understanding Poverty Declines
Policy Briefs
May 2023
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Cover image for SNAP Access and Participation brief
Policy Briefs
March 2023
By  Valerie Lacarte, Lillie Hinkle and Briana L. Broberg
Cover image for The Skills and Economic Outcomes of Immigrant and U.S.-Born College Graduates
Fact Sheets
December 2022
By  Jeanne Batalova and Michael Fix
Cover image for Four Strategies to Improve Community Services for Unaccompanied Children in the Unit
Policy Briefs
December 2022
By  Jonathan Beier, Lauren Farwell, Rhonda Fleischer and Essey Workie
Cover image for A Profile of Low-Income Immigrants in the United States
Fact Sheets
November 2022
By  Julia Gelatt, Valerie Lacarte and Joshua Rodriguez

Pages

A family of Afghan evacuees leaving Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Afghan immigrant population in the United States has grown dramatically since 2010, and particularly since the 2021 withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. Most Afghans who obtained a green card in recent years have done so through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, reserved for interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the U.S. government. This article offers data on the approximately 195,000 Afghan immigrants in the United States.

President Joe Biden signs an executive order.

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

A celebration for the Feast of San Gennaro in New York's Little Italy

One-tenth of all immigrants in the United States come from Europe, a vast decline from the mid-20th century, as migration within Europe has grown and more U.S. immigrants arrive from other destinations. This article provides an overview of contemporary European immigration to the United States, as a region and by top European countries of origin.

Image of USCIS employees at work

The U.S. immigration system is notorious for persistent backlogs and antiquated processes. In recent months, under-the-radar changes have made a dent in the logjam and helped bring the system into the 21st century. But some pandemic-era changes are set to expire, potentially undoing the incremental reforms. This article details the quiet technological and efficiency improvements in U.S. immigration operations.

A Haitian-American book fair in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood

The United States is the world’s top destination for Haitian migrants, who in recent years have fled an array of disasters and crises. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, the nearly 731,000 Haitians are more likely to be naturalized citizens, arrive through family-based pathways, and work in the service industry, as this data-rich article details.

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Expert Q&A, Audio
May 18, 2023

MPI President Andrew Selee and two colleagues who joined him at the U.S.-Mexico border to examine increasingly sophisticated U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations discuss the evolution of policies and procedures to address asylum seekers and other migrants arriving at official ports of entry.

Expert Q&A, Audio
April 24, 2023

How are U.S. border operations and policies evolving at the U.S.-Mexico border to address rising and diversifying flows? And what is driving increasing immigration from across Latin America, the Caribbean, and beyond? MPI President Andrew Selee speaks with two colleagues who traveled from one end of the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to the other, touring U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and interviewing U.S. and Mexican officials, NGO leaders, and others.

Image of USCIS Director Ur Jaddou
Video, Audio
April 11, 2023

Marking the launch of MPI’s Global Skills and Talent Initiative, this webcast features senior policymakers and other experts discussing the extent to which labor market needs should shape future immigration policy decisions, and how countries are adjusting—and could adjust—their immigration systems to meet human capital and competitiveness needs.

Attorney General William Tong
Video
September 20, 2022

Focusing on top immigration policy issues at federal and state levels, this 2022 Immigration Law and Policy Conference featured keynotes by Connecticut Attorney General William Tong and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson exploring the growing role states are taking in the national immigration debate.

Help Wanted sign offers employment in a restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland
Video, Audio
April 20, 2022

Experts on this webinar examined the scope and reality of skills shortages and the role of immigrants in the U.S. labor market, ways to address the underemployment of highly skilled immigrants, and how immigrants and immigration policy can be used to fulfil needs in the education sector, STEM occupations, and other skills needs.

Pages

Recent Activity

Reports
February 2024

The U.S. humanitarian protection system, known for its long history of assisting those in need, has come under incredible pressure in recent years. The asylum adjudications system, which is under-resourced, is struggling to keep up with record asylum seeker arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border. This report examines the state of the asylum system, including changes under the Biden administration and potential lessons for other countries.

Reports
January 2024

Immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits in the United States is governed by a complex patchwork of rules that make many groups of noncitizens eligible for some benefits but not others, while other noncitizens are excluded completely. This report provides an overview of immigrants’ eligibility for programs related to general assistance, health and nutrition, employment and income, education, housing, driver’s licenses, and more.

Reports
January 2024

Unauthorized migration at the U.S.-Mexico border has been a high-profile and politically divisive issue for decades. But as the nature of migration at the border has changed profoundly, U.S. policy responses have struggled to keep up. This report explores the changing nature of migration flows and migration policy at the border from the early 1990s until today, highlighting key lessons for contemporary policy-making.

Articles

In three years, President Joe Biden has surpassed the number of immigration-focused executive actions taken by the Trump administration throughout its entire four-year term, making his the most active U.S. presidency ever on immigration. Yet the Biden administration has been repeatedly accused of inaction at the U.S.-Mexico border, where record levels of migrant encounters have occurred. This article reviews the Biden track record on immigration.

Articles

One-tenth of all immigrants in the United States come from Europe, a vast decline from the mid-20th century, as migration within Europe has grown and more U.S. immigrants arrive from other destinations. This article provides an overview of contemporary European immigration to the United States, as a region and by top European countries of origin.

Reports
January 2024

All eyes are on the U.S.-Mexico border, where shifting migration trends and record migrant arrivals have stretched the U.S. border management system beyond its capabilities. As the Biden administration continues to implement its new regime of incentives for orderly arrivals and disincentives for unauthorized crossings, this report analyzes the rapidly changing policy and migration realities and outlines recommendations for a more effective, durable system of border control.

Video, Audio, Webinars
November 30, 2023

Coordination and communication among key stakeholders in the resettlement network have never been more critical. This conversation focuses on how consultation supports capacity building and where it can, at times, fall short. The discussion also focuses on key recommendations from a report, The Unmet Potential of Community Consultations in U.S. Refugee Resettlement, and actionable steps toward a more inclusive, collaborative, and adaptable consultation process.

Reports
November 2023

As humanitarian migrant arrivals in the United States increase, via refugee resettlement and channels such as temporary parole, communication between the national, state, and local actors involved in supporting their reception and integration is critical. This report examines the goals and design of quarterly resettlement consultations, as well as opportunities to refine these processes to boost their impact and relevance in a changing policy landscape.

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